Kristen Stewart has left Twilight behind and is hitting the highway on the big screen version of the iconic book by Jack Kerouac, On the Road. She stars with Garrett Hedlund and the duo sit down with Movie Fanatic to take us inside their film's long journey to fruition and even clue us in to what makes a good road trip.
"What I love about road trips is that, if you don't have a time frame or a destination, what could derail it is a passenger! But, for this film, Walter (Salles) and I got to take the 1949 Hudson from New York all the way to Los Angeles, which was awesome. The greatest thing about that was that we didn't have a time when we had to get home," Hedlund said.
Easily seen in the On the Road trailer, filming a movie -- literally -- on the road also proved challenging because of that old car. "We broke down over nine times across the country, in different locations, and met some of the most wonderful mechanics across the States!"
Of all their travels filming the movie -- from New York to California and even a jaunt into South America -- each had a special place in the stars' hearts. "New Orleans was incredible, as well. We went out to the Bayou, and that was special," Hedlund said.
"Just being in the city there was amazing," Stewart concurred.
"All the locations were all unique," Hedlund continued. "We were on such a move, right off the bat. We got to catch the snow in the winter in Chile, and then book it down to Argentina and head over to Patagonia and up into No Man's Land."
The iconic book has been toyed with becoming a movie for decades since it was released in 1957. Stewart appreciated how the author took the reader on a first person journey.
"When you can literally Google anything, you don't feel like you have to go see it in person. You can do a lot of traveling in your bedroom, but you're not touching anything and you're not feeling it," Stewart said.
The characters in the book, which were based on Kerouac and his traveling companions, had such an eagerness to express everything from deep inside their souls that comes across on every page. "That's what I think everybody was attracted to. It was a feeling of being more honest than you've ever been and more free. You have to shed inhibitions and fears, to approach life that way," Hedlund said.
Stewart's character Luanne, also called Marylou, was ahead of her time. She was living the sexual revolution years before it commenced.
"She had this capacity to live many lives. She was not above emotion. She was above jealousy, but not above feeling hurt. Maybe if this movie was made back in the day, as opposed to now, people would be so shocked and awed by the sex and the drugs that they would actually miss what the movie's about," Stewart admitted.
During her time, Luanne would be defined by different parameters. "Now, it's not so shocking to stomach. Sure, times have changed, but people don't change. That's why the book has never been irrelevant. There will always be people that want to push a little bit harder."
Since On the Road is so free with the drugs and sex, it could have been an uncomfortable scene having Stewart and Hedlund witness the film with their parents. "My mom came to Cannes. She was really proud. It's funny to talk about from an outsider's perspective. It's like, 'It must be weird to sit down and watch your ass with your mom,'" Stewart said and laughed. "But it is so weird!"
For Hedlund, his parents are simply relieved they don't have to watch him perish on screen... again! "I think the only thing harder for a parent is watching you do a dying scene. I've died in three films, and my mom begs me, 'Just tell me you don't die at the end,'" Hedlund said.
"To get her to go watch I Am Sam, I told her it was a comedy. She came back with her best friend and pockets full of Kleenex and said, 'You son of a bitch!'"
Stewart, after finishing The Twilight Saga, now has two distinct books she has brought to the screen. She admitted her interactions with fans of the two novels are quite different.
"I don't get to have very many involved conversations with Twilight fans. Sometimes the girls that run the fan sites will come in and do an interview, and I absolutely love doing that," Stewart said. "I've gotten to talk to a lot of passionate On the Road fans. The difference is that there's a lot to feel in Twilight. But with On the Road, there's a lot to talk about."
Lastly, we wondered how life is for Stewart now that Breaking Dawn Part 2 has come and gone and she has forever said goodbye to Bella.
"I have a weight lifted and I want it back. I don't have to worry about Bella anymore, which is so weird," Stewart said. "She's not tapping me on the shoulder anymore."